Freedom Football League
|No. of teams||10 (planned)|
The Freedom Football League (FFL) is a planned professional spring-summer American football league.
The Freedom Football League was announced on December 6, 2018 by Ricky Williams on ESPN's Outside the Lines. Williams indicated there were 100 initial stakeholders plus additional financing planned. He also announced the teams' locations and names.
In 2019, the league was planning to make a series of private and public equity offerings. While ESPN reports that no set first season date, Sporting News indicated 2020 for the first season, but there have been no formal announcements from the league since.
Premise and rules
At the time of the league's announcement, indications had been that it would not necessarily follow 11-on-11 standard outdoor rules and would more closely resemble a seven-on-seven format similar to the A7FL, a regional semi-professional league in the mid-Atlantic.
The FFL is overtly ideological. Its ownership structure is built around the premise that the current professional football landscape is dominated by billionaires; hence, its name is derived from the freedom it intends to give its players from the closely held structure of other professional leagues by offering equity stakes to players. The FFL claims it will not discourage its players from politics, such as kneeling during the national anthem.
All teams except for last-placed team in the conference will qualify for the playoffs. The first round is the Conference Semifinals, consisting of the top-seed hosting the fourth seed, and the second hosting the third. The winners advance to the Conference Finals, and the conference winners will play for the League Championship.
|Austin Revolution||Austin, Texas|
|Oakland Panthers||Oakland, California|
|Oklahoma City Power||Oklahoma City, Oklahoma|
|Portland Progress||Portland, Oregon|
|San Diego Warriors||San Diego, California|
|Birmingham Kings||Birmingham, Alabama|
|Connecticut Underground||Hartford, Connecticut|
|Florida Strong||Orlando, Florida|
|Ohio Players||Cleveland, Ohio|
|St. Louis Independence||St. Louis, Missouri|
The FFL will be financed by private funding and public offerings allowing fans to be part-owners of their respective team. When the FFL was announced, co-founder Ricky Williams stated that there are approximately 100 initial stakeholders, including 50 former NFL players. Season ticket holders are planned to have equity stakes. The league would be owned by players, fans and the operators.
Rice, Garcia and Jackson are all former players in the United Football League.
- "Ex-NFL players create Freedom Football League". ESPN.com. December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- Durkee, Travis (December 6, 2018). "Ricky Williams, collection of former NFL stars launching Freedom Football League". Sporting News. Perform Media. Omnisport. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
- Skiver, Kevin (December 6, 2018). "Ricky Williams announces 'Freedom Football League' run by former players including Terrell Owens". CBSSports.com. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "Ex-NFL star Williams behind new Freedom Football League". Reuters. December 6, 2018. Retrieved December 8, 2018.
- "Teams". Freedom Football League. Freedom Football League. Retrieved 10 December 2018.
- Benjamin, Cody (December 6, 2018). "From AAF to FFL to XFL, here's a guide to all the new non-NFL football leagues". CBSSports.com. Retrieved December 8, 2018.